There are lots of rumors flying about regarding what the Spurs will do with their three first-round picks (9th, 20th via the Raptors, and 25th via the Celtics) plus the 38th pick in the second round with 12 days till June 23. Let’s take a look at some of the most credible ones out there.
The Spurs aren’t going to sit on their hands in the draft.
The first and perhaps least surprising rumor comes from NBA Big Board’s Rafael Barlowe (subscription required), who claims that the Spurs are looking to find to move up in the draft and are hoping to “consolidate” some of their picks because they will not be bringing three or four rookies to training camp. (Note that unless they are hidden overseas, all 3 first-round picks would be on guaranteed agreements.)
Those two strategies are likely to go hand in hand, as any team ready to trade down in the draft will most likely demand at least one, if not more, picks in return. Even though clubs like the Rockets and Kings have indicated interest in trading their top four picks, the Spurs may find it tough to pull off such a deal because those teams would be seeking for franchise-changing players in exchange, and the Spurs’ best option in that category is Dejounte Murray. For the Spurs, that would be a pricey deal, and even then, Murray’s title might be a stretch (for now).
Packing the Spurs’ two late first-round picks (and/or second-round pick) to move up to the middle of the first round seems a more plausible scenario. The Hornets, for example, hold the 13th and 15th picks in the NBA and have previously showed interest in Spurs players, so there may be opportunity for wiggle room there. Another possible trade partner is the Nuggets, who are reportedly aiming to improve their depth chart through the draft and might deal the 21st pick to the Spurs in exchange for the 20th and 25th picks. At the very least, it would achieve the purpose of lowering the Spurs’ total number of draft picks. With those two picks, the Spurs have a lot of options to consider.
Is OG Anunoby a possible trade target for the Spurs?
The draft is (hopefully) one method the Spurs want to bolster their forward spots, but OG Anunoby of the Raptors may be a suitor if they need more urgent help. The 6’7″ forward is coming off a season in which he averaged 17.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.5 steals, but he is reportedly unhappy in his current role with the team, which has plenty of depth at front positions, including an established star in Paskal Siakam and Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes in 2022.
A former NBA exec said:
“If role is a concern for OG Anunoby as it sounds like it is, the Spurs may be his best bet. They don’t have a superstar taking a ton of shots and they could use a stronger wing to play the four next to Keldon Johnson.”
Anunoby checks a lot of boxes for the sort of player the Spurs are looking for this summer, and he’ll be entering the second year of a four-year, $72 million deal with the team. While I’m not sure if they can trade the 20th pick back to the Raptors, the Spurs could work out a draft night deal sending the 25th pick and someone like Josh Richardson and/or Jakob Poeltl to Toronto, or they could wait until free agency and do something like a sign-and-trade with Lonnie Walker. Regardless, given the Spurs’ summer needs, this is a noteworthy one to keep an eye on.
Collin Sexton is also rumored
The Spurs are one of the few teams with cap flexibility this summer, and Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton has been mentioned as a possible target for the Spurs, along with pending free agents Zach LaVine and Deandre Ayton. While most Spurs supporters may scoff at the prospect of adding another guard, Sexton’s 6’1″ height would offer the Spurs with the go-to scorer they currently need. With a torn meniscus in his left knee, he missed all but 11 games last season, but before to that, he averaged 24.3 points and 4.4 assists per game in 2020-21. If he isn’t too expensive, he could be an excellent fit for a Spurs squad in need of his scoring abilities.